|Season 50||L||3 - 4||League|
|Season 50||W||2 - 3||League|
|Season 50||D||3 - 3||Tournament (Group Phase)|
|Season 47||W||6 - 3||Qualification|
|Season 34||W||1 - 8||League|
Kryus Out Cold
Grilled pulled level with newbies at the top of the table with ten points apiece after dismissing Rapala FC 4-1 at The Cooking Pot, but will now have to do without Polish goalkeeper Edmund Kryus
for some time, after he was laid unconscious by a thigh to the side of the head in the 55th minute.
The Birds had expected a high attendance to what has traditionally been a guaranteed goalfest, but the non-stop rain limited the number of tickets sold to just over 50000. In any case, Niculae Stanca
decided to abandon width this time, with Shiya Shaahee
not even on the bench, while the visitors replied like for like with three upfront as they made clear their intent to slug it out.
With neither side putting much weight in defence, goalmouth action was a given, and Grilled went ahead in the seventh minute after Abdul bin Jantan
sparked a rush on the left. With former Arrogancae, Spartanx United and saiNts United FC defender Danial Maalik understandably caught out of position barely more than a month after his transfer in, Seytek Djekshenkulov
could take his time against Kuki Ruivo, who did his best to hold the hulking midfielder up, but to no avail.
Grilled found it harder after this goal, and for all of Woon Shun An
's industry in the wet conditions, it was Rapala who came at the Birds the more menacingly. Some extended attacks later, dangerous Chilean striker José Alberto Nilo, who claimed the winner the last time the sides met, tested Kryus severely with a classy curler that the goalie just about reached.
Looking at how players like Chow and Tian were sliding all over the place, it became apparent that the Birds were in trouble, and sure enough Rapala equalised through Joni Huhtamäki in short order. This time, Ling Fuquan
was blameless as the fast Finnish forward faked Qassem Madaini
into retreating prematurely, before ripping a bullet into the Grilled net.
This turned out to be a false dawn for the visitors, though, as current Golden Boot challenger Chow Ying Lee
reminded all of just how lethal he can be even without his famed quickness. Few would have expected him to be able to pull off a highly technical trap-and-volley on the turn from to corner of the box, and this included Ruivo, who could only watch as the lob dropped over him and across the line in the 40th minute.
Rapala FC had not learnt their lesson deeply enough, and Azri Haikal Ameer allowed Chow some room on his inside after Grilled came forward on the kick-off, secure in the expectation that nobody would try anything from that paltry angle. He hadn't counted on Chow's eye for goal, however, and he made it eight in the league with a strike that somehow went in between Ruivo and the post.
Having gone two down in the space of two minutes, the visitors were not sure what had hit them, and when Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
broke near the halfway line, right winger Tiberio Frizzi was taking no chances and forced him out, before blocking his attempt at a quick free-kick. That was too much for referee Nils Ziesenboeck, who reached for his yellow card.
Rapala's need to score gave Grilled a steady stream of chances, and the match was over as a contest in the 54th minute, when Djekshenkulov inserted himself between two Rapala defenders to power in a fourth. That was enough for Stanca, who gestured at his team to protect their lead as a priority from here on.
This would be made trickier after the Birds lost their goalkeeper, in what looked like an accident. Rapala had not yet given up on an epic comeback, and a hopeful long ball by Mohd Fauzzi Mantali was chased down by Savva Veremeenko, with Woon and Kryus joining in. The three bore down on the same spot in a frenzy, and although Woon came away with the prize, Kryus was left in a motionless heap on the grass.
A stretcher was quickly called for as Grilled's substitutes yelled at Woon to put the ball out, and replays showed that Veremeenko had caught the goalie without looking, as Kryus went down to smother the ball. Cui decided to flash the yellow anyway after some discussion, while Hovaness Noubaryan
got kitted up to take over in goal.
At the other end, Ruivo made an excellent stop off lu Zunwen
, who really has to vary his shots if he hopes to find success. After surviving that, Rapala might have fancied their chances against Noubaryan, but their plans took a blow when Nilo cracked his forehead against Madaini's shoulder in an aerial challenge. No card was forthcoming this time, prompting a barrage of whistling from the away fans.
With their captain off, Pei Jingming took over the armband as Italian sub Mattia Crotti came on, but neither were quite able to exert the same influence as the departed Nilo did. Grilled were therefore able to see out the rest of the game in relative comfort, with Noubaryan hardly tested.